Golgata – Skam (Black Metal)

I’ve followed the Swedish black metal band Golgata very closely since their EP Trälen came out in 2017, followed by De Dömdas Gryning last year where they took another step in the right direction. Finally though they’ve released a full-length album with Skam being their fourth offering (their debut EP Industrial Thoughts came out 2015). The Swedish duo don’t hold back at all and with Skam Golgata has put out their most complete album yet. It’s dark and sinister atmosphere, Swedish lyrics and varied songs makes it an easy album to get back to again and again. They also have their, so far, best tracks on this album with the opener “Förrädiskt Vaggas Vi Till Sömns” and “Opus IX (Lidandets Moder)” being two of my favorite black metal tracks I’ve heard this year (still quite a few months to go I know).

Golgata keeps their dirty underground, yet melodic, sound intact and throughout the album there is a red line on both lyrics and atmosphere that grabs you and never let you go. Difference here compared to their older albums, which makes this a winner in my book, is that it offers a more varied spectrum on fast, adrenaline pumping black metal accompanied with the more slow paced songs. Together with the intermission parts on spoken words, use of organ, acoustic guitar and more Skam pushes the band and is an album any black metal fan should listen to. I can’t stress this enough, Golgata is a very underrated band which just keeps on improving. Don’t sleep on them!

Written by J.B.

Label: Satanath Records
For fans of: Skogen and Dråpsnatt
Release date: June 17th, 2019
Favorite song: Förrädiskt Vaggas Vi Till Sömns
Score: 4/5 Incredible

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Call of Cthulhu

A game I’d been looking forward to for a long time is Call of Cthulhu. Being a huge Lovecraft fan, especially after trying out the pen and paper roll-playing game a bit over a year ago, I try to devour as many games (and metal music) as possible that’s inspired by his work. Call of Cthulhu seemed to be the most ambitious and promising game on the concept for years and even though I didn’t get the game on launch I bought it as soon as I saw it on a sale.

You play as the private investigator, and war veteran, Edward Pierce who has bizarre nightmares and self-medicates with sleeping pills and alcohol. The game starts with you getting a new case that leads you to investigate the death of the Hawkins family in Darkwater Island. It doesn’t take long until you find there is something very strange going on here, eventually leading to bizarre encounters, cult stuff and more. The story, which is based on “The Call of Cthulhu”, is awesome to play through. Even more if you’re a fan of the Mythos, read the short story or/and played the role-playing game before. So for me it ticked a lot of boxes instantly.

There are a lot of choices, paths you can take, along the way. Some changes the story quite a bit, some are very minor. I’ve always enjoyed when games does this, makes the replay value higher and you think over your decisions a lot more. However there are very few games that I think utilize this to a full extent. Sure there are four different endings in Call of Cthulhu, which is awesome, but for most part of the game the your choices makes no difference. Which is a big shame and I think this is untapped potential that could of made the game so much better.

When it comes to bugs there were a few graphical ones I encountered but the most annoying one was the sound levels. Why oh why was it such a big difference between the in game dialogues and cut scenes!? It happened quite often I had to turn it up a lot to even hear what they say during the cut scene, just get a minor shock when it went back to in game….

Overall though I can recommend this to fans of the Lovecraft Mythos. Story is interesting all the way through and even with it’s bugs and how in basically more than the first half of the game your choices doesn’t really matter it’s an enjoyable experience. If you’re not interested in Lovecraft at all though then there are a lot better games out there though. A small note is that I changed the “Music” score to “Sound” to represent what I actually grade more.

Pros

  • It does the Lovecraft Mythos justice.
  • That it had multiple endings.

Cons

  • Your choices didn’t matter that much.
  • A bit buggy.

Platform: Playstation 4
Graphics: 3/5
Sound: 2/5
Gameplay: 2.5/5
Story: 4/5
Score: 3/5 Good

What Remains of Edith Finch

I got this game for free on Playstation Plus and while I did not know what to expect from it I knew it had got some hype surrounding it when it came out. At first I thought this game was really weird, scratch that. The game IS weird. However I came to love the weirdness of this games, the stories it tells and how it does it. It isn’t all that often when I think a game, especially indie titles, has some of the best voice acting I’ve heard together with a visual presentation of all these small stories of the Finch family that was simply stunning.

This is one of those games that you see more as an artform than just a game. While neither the graphics nor gameplay is what draws you in here it does it’s job well but it’s the Finch family that wants your attention. They deserve it too and I suggest you pick this up for cheap as it’s an rather unique experience that even if it doesn’t tick all the boxes is worth a playthrough for the story (and narrative) alone. Hell I’ll tell you what, I even cried at the end, it got me good…

Pros

  • Voice acting.
  • Unique concept and narrative.

Cons

  • A bit too short.
  • Could have more fun, and varied, gameplay.

Platform: Playstation 4
Graphics: 3/5
Music: 3.5/5
Gameplay: 2.5/5
Story: 4/5
Score: 3/5 Good

Temple Of Demigod – Onslaught Of The Ancient Gods (Symphonic Black/Death Metal)

Temple of the Demigod is a one-man symphonic black/death metal project created by Mark Erskine from Armenia in 2014. Since then there has been one EP named Profane Doctrine and a full-length album The Great Old Ones out prior to this release. It’s been three years in the making and now the ancient Gods from the Lovecraft mythos are approaching us once again.

After several listens these past days my main concern with the album is that it varies in quality. The opening track “Him Who Is Not to Be Named” started off so well but then on “Acolyte of an Ancient Cult” it drops off a bit and it isn’t until “He Who Lies in Eternity” I get fully sucked in again. While I love symphonic music I do think there is in all honesty a bit too much of that side, less keyboard would make it stand out a bit more, the less is more rule applies here. And why, oh why did “Neverending Dreams” even happen? Just hearing wale sounds for 2:30 minutes doesn’t do it for me, even though I understand why he did it (this being a Lovecraft concept album and all) but I don’t think it added anything to the album at all. Even with those things that I personally think holds the album back a bit there is no denying Temple of Demigod has some wicked riffs and vocals. When it also all syncs well like in symbiosis with the synth like on “Black Rivers of Yuggoth”, “Becoming”, or the opener as I mentioned before, then it’s really great symphonic black/death metal. It’s just a bit too much at times and I generally think The Great Old Ones worked a bit better in that regard. I do think Onslaught of the Ancient Gods offers more highs though and some of the best work by Temple of Demigod.

Overall I do enjoy Onslaught of the Ancient Gods, it’s a good album with some really good songwriting in an area I love (Lovecraft mythos). Hell I am even in the planing stage of a Lovecraft inspired tattoo… I just think this could be even better, there are some thoughts on what could of been once the album is over for sure. A few bumps on the road shouldn’t hold you back from giving this album a listen though, especially for Lovecraft fans as this sure does it justice in both atmosphere and lyrics. If you liked the past work of Temple of Demigod then you will feel right at home here and like this too.

Written by J.B.

Label: SoundAge Productions
For fans of: Grief of Emerald and Limbonic Art
Release date: June 15th, 2019
Favorite song: Him Who Is Not to Be Named
Score: 3/5 Good

Albums of the month: May

What a month! This year for metal has been good overall, granted some months better than others but May oh my…. There has been not just one, nor two but six albums I could consider album of the year contenders! How freaking sweet is that (and bad for my wallet)!? That being said the album of the month was very very hard to pick and hell even the top five won’t consist of the all the albums that might find their way into the yearly top ten! Hope you find some great metal here, be sure to check all the band out and comment your own lists here, on Instagram, Twitter or on Facebook as I would love to hear them! With this album of the month article I am going on a vacation to Prague for a bit over a week. Catch all of you metal gamers later!

Album of the month

Vale of Pnath – Accursed

Wow what a journey Vale of Pnath has had! They’ve always been of my favorite techdeath bands, much do to their black metal influences, but they really knocked this one out of the park! A perfect five in my book and a crown jewel in their already great, and growing, discography. Released May 17th via Willowtip Records.
Read the review here

Runners-up

AngelMaker – AngelMaker

From one of my favorite techdeath bands we have one of my favorite deathcore bands. Angelmaker is not just mine but also my wifes go to band when we want some deathcore quality. This is their most varied release yet and I absolutely love it! Released May 31st as an independent release.

Misþyrming – Algleymi

This is in my opinion the best black metal release so far. Even with strong releases from bands like Nordjevel, Abduction, Murg and their countrymen Sinmara I think Misþyrming got an edge and Algleymi has been one of my most played albums since its release. Released May 24th via Norma Evangelium Diaboli.

Warforged – I: Voice

Warforged was probably the band I had changing up and down the most if it was going to be my album of the month or not. What an experience! Add the very cool music video for the whole album and you got yourself a great time. Released May 10th via The Artisan Era.
Read the review here

Murdryck – Födelsen

My biggest surprise of the month. My partner in crime K.P. was all up in flames over this release and it didn’t take more than a couple of songs to understand why. Nearly perfect black metal in the Swedish old school way. Released May 1st via Leviaphonic Records.
Read the review here

Honorable mentions

Decomposition of Entrails – Abnormality
Darkthrone – Old Star
Krypts – Cadaver Circulation
Nihility – Thus Spoke The Antichrist
Entrapment – Imminent Violent Death
Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest
Kull – Exile
Ontborg – Within the Depths of Oblivion
Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno
Firelink – The Inveterate Fire
Mordbrand – Döden/Efter Döden
Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion
October Tide – In Splendor Below
Amon Amarth – Berserker
Abnormality – Sociopathic Constructs
Osiah – Kingdom of Lies
Deathspell Omega – The Furnaces of Palingenesia

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist (Blackened Death Metal)

Formed in 2012 Portuguese blackened death metal band Nihility is still a rather young one. Their debut has been years in the making and now it’s ready to unleash hell upon the world, I give you Thus Spoke the Antichrist.

At the very start Nihility presents “Indulge Self Restraint” that has some meaty riff on the melodic side with the powerful vocals from Mário Ferreira. Eventually they go even more aggressive on “Organic Fallacies” which is a lot more straight to the point and hits hard, giving me a much more American death metal vibe a la Immolation to it. Favorite tracks on the album soon begins to shape in the form of the title track “Thus Spoke the Antichrist” and “Prophecy of Denial”, which is pure Behemoth worship. With the last one actually being one of my most played tracks these last few weeks. A real banger as the kids say!

As a debut album I hold Thus Spoke the Antichrist as one of the best I’ve heard this year. There are a few bumps on the road but you can tell this is a band with great talent that aren’t afraid on trying putting out a rather varied album, yet keeping the heavy hitting assault intact throught, straight from the start. All of the songs are in fact solid, with a few real high points that makes this album have a very strong 3.5 score, almost landing on that 4. All in all everyone that enjoys themselves a good blackened death metal experience that has parts of Immolation, Behemoth, Hate and even slight nods to Belphegor at times should grab a copy.

With this review I go back to sharing bands social media, I don’t even know why I stopped doing that since I find it being a really good thing to promote the bands that extra bit so I’m doing it again.

Written by J.B.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nihility.pt
Label: Black Lion Records (https://www.facebook.com/blacklionrecordsswe)
For fans of: Behemoth and Immolation
Release date: May 24th, 2019
Favorite song: Prophecy of Denial
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Decomposition of Entrails – Abnormality (Brutal Death Metal)

Lets get br00tal metal gamers! We all know Russians knows how to slam and get their moshpits going hard. Fact is the band I got for you today is from Russia and a personal favorite of mine as I reviewed their last release Pestilential Synthesis back in 2017 (album released in December 8th, 2016) where I mentioned it was one of the best brutal death metal releases all year. Guess what? Abnormality is yet another step in the right direction! The Russian bulldozer that is all about the Decomposition of Entrails aint stopping anytime soon and it just goes faster and faster!

What’s happened since the last album? Well the band has added the drummer Evgeny Egolnikov to their ranks, going from a trio to party of four. One of the main thing that is the icing on the cake on Abnormality is just the drumming section, because wow has that improved! Not that I thought it was bad on Pestilential Synthesis but it sure does add a lot when it isn’t programmed and just feels more fluid and alive. From start to finish this close to 26 minutes of brutal death metal machine will hammer your skull with massive gutturals and moshpit starting riffs, with superb headbang friendly drums to boot. Not a single bad song on the album but at the same time not that massive hit that could push them closer to a perfect album score. Who knows next time they might just raise that bar even higher? They’ve improved with each album so far and there seems to be no limit to what these guys can do!

Yet again Decomposition of Entrails prove to be a force to be reckoned with and Abnormality is one of the best brutal death metal albums you will hear all year.

Written by J.B.

Label: Realityfade Records
For fans of: Disfigurement of Flesh and Abated Mass of Flesh
Release date: May 30th, 2019
Favorite song: Viral Eruption
Score: 3.5/5 Very good